12 days in United States Itinerary

12 days in United States Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in United States Itinerary

Start: Philadelphia
Fly:  7​h 30​min
1
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
San Diego
— 2 nights
Fly:  7​h
End: Philadelphia

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at China Beach and Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve. Visit Alcatraz Island and The Embarcadero for their historical value. There's still lots to do: take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, explore the engaging exhibits at Exploratorium, and step aboard SS Jeremiah O'Brien.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our San Francisco trip planner.

Philadelphia to San Francisco is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from Philadelphia to San Francisco due to the time zone difference. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Philadelphia in September: high temperatures in San Francisco hover around 74°F and lows are around 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf
Exploratorium ©
Exploratorium

2
nights
Carmel

Carmel ©
Carmel-by-the-Sea, often simply called Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. Start off your visit on the 11th (Tue): kick back and relax at Point Lobos State Reserve, enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach, and then don't miss a visit to San Carlos Cathedral. Here are some ideas for day two: appreciate the extensive heritage of Cannery Row, appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and then take a memorable drive along Seventeen Mile Drive.

To see where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Carmel tour planner.

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Carmel takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. In September, plan for daily highs up to 70°F, and evening lows to 55°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Monterey, Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach

1
night
San Simeon

San Simeon ©
When you arrive in tiny San Simeon, which lies halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, you can see why William Randolph Hearst chose this coastal locale for his famous hilltop castle.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at Piedras Blancas, look for gifts at Sebastian General Store, then learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery, and finally contemplate the long history of Hearst Castle.

To see more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our San Simeon online route builder .

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Simeon takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Carmel in September, you will find days in San Simeon are little chillier (61°F), and nights are about the same (54°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Hearst Ranch Winery ©
Hearst Ranch Winery

3
nights
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at The Getty Center and La Brea Tar Pits and Museum. Your inner history buff will appreciate Santa Monica Pier and Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Step out of Los Angeles with an excursion to Santa Monica Mountains in Santa Monica--about 1h 10 min away. There's much more to do: look and learn at Griffith Observatory, appreciate the extensive heritage of Venice Canals Walkway, don't miss a visit to Hollywood Walk of Fame, and immerse yourself in nature at Santa Monica Beach.

Before you visit Los Angeles, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Los Angeles takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect warmer weather when traveling from San Simeon in September: highs in Los Angeles hover around 86°F, while lows dip to 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Mon) so you can drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trip

Santa Monica
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk
Griffith Observatory ©
Griffith Observatory

2
nights
San Diego

San Diego ©
Divided into neighborhoods with distinct characters and cultural heritages, San Diego sits just north of the Mexican border and offers visitors a blend of tourist attractions, including a lively nightlife, diverse cuisine, and a thriving musical scene.
On the 17th (Mon), examine the collection at USS Midway Museum and then kick back and relax at La Jolla Cove. On the next day, immerse yourself in nature at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our San Diego trip maker app .

Traveling by car from Los Angeles to San Diego takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. When traveling from Los Angeles in September, plan for little chillier days in San Diego, with highs around 80°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 69°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve ©
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

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